Why Aren’t Humans Better Prepared For Natural Disasters?
The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Under-Prepare For Disasters examines human behavior and disaster preparedness, trying to answer the question: why, with our ability to forsee and protect against natural catastrophes, do humans fail to protect ourselves and our communities from disaster? WWNO’s Jessica Rosgaard spoke to co-author Robert Meyer about how humans can overcome the psychological hurdles to disaster preparedness…
In Japan tsunami city, people power turns disaster into opportunity
On March 11, 2011, local official Shuya Takahashi was in Higashi-Matsushima city hall when a towering tsunami struck the scenic, low-lying coastal city in northeast Japan.
The 10.5-metre (34.5-ft) wave, triggered by a huge off-shore earthquake, inundated 65 percent of the city, partially or fully destroyed almost three out of four residential homes, and left some 1,100 people – 3 percent of the city’s population – dead or missing, including Takahashi’s university-age daughter.
“I myself lost my family and home, and I am one of the disaster victims, (and I ) happened to be in charge of reconstruction of the city,” he told a two-day conference this week bringing together researchers, environmentalists and government officials from East Asia to discuss ways to make the region’s cities safe, environmentally friendly and inclusive….